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Document describing Method of Operation of the Edison Electrical Pen & Duplicating Press, undated

The original copy is written with the Electrical Pen which perforates the paper with innumerable small holes instead of making ink marks as in the usual method of writing. After having finished the subject intended to be duplicated or multiplied the perforated sheet is then placed in the press and a blank sheet of paper placed underneath it. An ordinary roller containing printer's ink is then rolled over the paper that has been perforated. The ink flows through the perforated paper and leaves on the blank sheet underneath an autographic copy of the letter. To produce another or an unlimited number of copies, it is only necessary to renew the blank sheet underneath the perforated sheet and run the roller over them. Price complete $35. Office No. 41 Dey St. New York


Excerpt from Edison's Specification for Letters Patent No. 180,857, dated August 8, 1876; application filed March 13, 1876

Be it known that I, Thomas A. Edison, of Newark, in the county of Essex and State of New Jersey, have invented an Improvement in Autographic Printing, of which the following is a specification:
Patterns for embroidery and for fresco painters have been made of paper, perforated with numerous holes in the lines to be transferred, and the transfer has been done by a fine colored powder, dusted over and rubbed into such holes while the article is upon the surface that receives such transfer. This is not adapted to writing, because the color employed is not permanent, and no means has been devised that could easily be made use of in writing or drawing by hand with rapidity that rendered the operation practically available for autographic printing.
My improvement relates, first, to the instrument employed for puncturing the paper, whereby such instrument can be used by hand in the same manner as a drawing or writing pen; second, to the method of printing by direct transfer in permanent semi-liquid ink from the perforated sheet; and third, to the press for holding such transfer-sheet, and the paper to be impressed.



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Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)
Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)

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